Schiano Notebook: Post-Game Teleconference

The day after a crushing 41-31 loss to No. 25 West Virginia, head coach Greg Schiano discussed the quarterback situation with the media after another three-turnover performance by true freshman Gary Nova.

Head coach Greg Schiano was non-committal about how he will proceed with the quarterback situation for South Florida during today's conference call, but said the turnovers for Gary Nova are becoming problematic.

Nova, who threw for 235 yards on 18-of-46 passing, threw two interceptions against West Virginia and lost a fumble while escaping pressure in the pocket.

Since beating Syracuse and Pittsburgh, Nova has nine turnovers in his last three games.

"We have to stop it or we have to make a change there, but I'm confident that we will [stop it] ... because the other thing that he's doing is bringing great production out of the run game and him getting us in the right plays and doing those kind of things," Schiano said.

Schiano did not say he will 100 percent stick with Nova for next week, but said he liked a lot of what he saw when reviewing the tape last night after the loss.

"I have to talk with our coaches before I decide who starts for South Florida, but I feel like Gary did a lot of great things," Schiano said. "[On] the touchdown pass to Mark Harrison, he feels the rush, he slides up in the pocket, he delivers it. I thought he made some big throws and did things that are hard to do.

"On the other hand, we threw one interception, he's just got to get it out of bounds. You can't try to get too cute there. The end of the game one, at that point things have gone south. Handling the [center-quarterback] exchange, we just have to do a better job at that."

When the decision is made, like every week in the past, Rutgers will start the quarterback it feels gives the team the best chance to win.

"No, it's not an eye towards the future," Schiano said. "We feel like he gives us the best chance to win games now and that's why he's playing now. If it was for the future, he would play a little bit. We'd get him ready for the future. That's not the reason."

The Offensive Line

Perhaps finally finding stability, starting the same five linemen for the third straight game, the line put up one of its better performances of the season.

The line gave up two sacks after surrendering six to the Mountaineers last season and allowed backs to average 4.4 yards per carry on the ground.

"It's getting better," Schiano said. "As I said all along, I wouldn't say we're anywhere near where we're going to be or what it's going to look like again, but I was pleased that we were able to run the football with more effectiveness. Can we continue to get better at it? That's the key because it's not where I want it to be."

Schiano said his goal is 200 rushing yards per game. The Scarlet Knights totaled 151 against West Virginia.

Fake Field Goal

Rutgers had a "high confidence level" in the fake field goal call that would have yielded a much different end result if connected.

On the play, receiver Brandon Coleman had open space to score in the end-zone, but holder and reserve safety Pat Kivlehan threw a ball that took too long to get there and the 6-foot-6 Coleman did not attack the ball in the air as it fell incomplete.

"I asked our special teams guys, ‘what's your confidence level with it' and they said, ‘100 percent,'" Schiano said. "I agreed. Maybe we held it just a second too long because he was clearly open. Maybe we under-threw it a little bit. ... We don't do fakes unless we feel there's 100 percent certainty."

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